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Florida Construction Law Update

Monthly Archives: April 2012

Time’s up!: Florida Supreme Court may Consider Statute of Limitations Dispute in Multi-Party Construction Defect Claim

Posted in Construction, Engineers, Statutes of Limitations, Subcontractors

Time’s up! That’s never a phrase we want to hear. It evinces memories of school tests and entrance exams. Well, in the legal arena, deadlines are all the more critical. Litigants often fight over filing deadlines for cases, or statutes of limitation, in the prosecution and defense of claims. Most recently, the First District Court… Continue Reading

Insulating Design Professional from Individual Liability

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Design Professionals, Professional Liability

Since the mid 1980s, the design professional community relied upon Florida Power & Light Company v. Mid-Valley, Inc., 763 F. 2d 1316 (11th cir. 1985) as an accurate statement of Florida law allowing individual design professionals to limit their liability for professional negligence by contract. The design professional world was turned on its head with… Continue Reading

Contractor’s Home Office Overhead Likely Unrecoverable

Posted in Construction, Construction Contracts, Contractors, Delays, Subcontractors

When public construction projects are delayed by the government, contractors are often unable to bid on additional jobs and perform other work during the delay period. As a result, contractors often seek damages from the government for extended home office overhead during this delay, commonly referred to as Eichleay damages. However, courts have continually limited contractors’ ability to recover these costs by imposing burdensome requirements, which… Continue Reading

Difficulties a Contractor Faces When Dealing with Change Work

Posted in Architects, Change Orders, Construction, Construction Contracts, Contractors, Design Professionals, Professional Liability, Subcontractors

The Magazine of University of Florida’s School of Building Construction recently published an article written by David Salazar. The article is a primer on the difficulties a contractor faces when dealing with change order work. Additionally, the article sets forth the inevitable problems a contractor encounters and provides some risk management tips that can help… Continue Reading

No Common Law Implied Warranty of Habitability Applies to Surrounding Structures That “Essentially Service” A Home

Posted in Construction, Developers, Florida Legislation, Warranty

The Florida Legislature recently passed legislation that is very favorable for developers. More specifically, the legislation appears to eliminate future exposure of developers to claims for common law implied warranties of fitness and merchantability related to subdivision improvements of roads, drainage systems, retention ponds and underground pipes surrounding homes. In mid-March 2012, the Florida House of Representatives passed… Continue Reading

An Alleged Breach of a Promise to Deliver a Completed Condominium Is Measured From the Date of Filing A Surveyor’s Certificate of Substantial Completion, Not the Certificate of Occupancy

Posted in Condominiums, Construction, Construction Contracts, Design Professionals, Developers

Developers must take precaution when making promises regarding completion of construction, especially in light of new Florida case law holding that a claim against a developer for breach of promise to deliver a completed condominium is measured from the date of filing a surveyor’s certificate of substantial completion and not the certificate of occupancy. In Tranquil Harbour Dev., LLC v. BBT, LLC, 79 So. 3d 84… Continue Reading

A Florida Federal Trial Court Suggests That Contribution Between Comparatively At-Fault Parties Is Obsolete

Posted in Architects, Construction, Contractors, Design Professionals, Developers, Engineers, Indemnification, Professional Liability, Subcontractors, Subrogation

Is the cause of action for Contribution still a viable claim? A recent federal court suggested that Contribution between comparatively at-fault parties is no longer a viable claim in light of the availability of comparative fault defenses to liability. In Mendez-Garcia v. Galaxie Corp., 8:10-CV-788-T-24 EAJ, 2011 WL 5358658 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 3, 2011), the… Continue Reading

Independent Engineering Firms Hired To Evaluate A Design-Build Contractor’s Work Had No Special Duty Toward That Design-Build Contractor

Posted in Construction, Design Professionals, Design-Build, Engineers, Professional Liability

A Florida federal court recently issued a favorable decision for design professionals holding that design professionals do not automatically owe a duty or obligation towards design build contractors. In Recreational Design & Const. Inc. v. Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., 10-CV-21549, 2011 WL 5117163 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 20, 2011), a design-build contractor sued independent engineering firms… Continue Reading